A Reflection of You

You can create better trustworthiness in your website design by keeping in mind that it is an extension of yourself, your business, and your character.

I recently visited a website as part of doing research for a customer. I had never been to this particular site (which will remain nameless) before and wanted the answer to a specific question. Immediately I encountered a pop-up asking me to subscribe, follow and join their site. I did not even have enough time to really understand what their company was about, much less whether I wanted to join them. This kind of shotgun approach turned me off wanting to do anything other than to find a less needy company.

They say you never have a second chance to make a first impression. This clever aphorism might make you chuckle, but the truth of the matter is that in a crowded Internet with thousands of similar sites, your first impression is everything. Why? Because it defines you in a way you may not even be aware of. Here are some things to look at when creating that first page that people will see as you for the first time:

  1. How are you dressed?
    In other words, is the presentation professional? Hopefully you wouldn’t wear loafers to a serious business meeting. Nor should you clutter up your home page with advertisements for meaningless click-bait. Show your good side: attractive photos, recommendations, and, above all, relevant content.
  2. Did you arrive on time?A slow website will likely deter potential customers. Some may blame their own Internet connection the first time, but consistent failure to deliver will diminish your business. Monitoring services are available to keep tabs on your website delivery speeds in case the hosting becomes unreliable, even for a short period of time.
  3. Are you prepared?
    The customer may need a while to sort out whether they are interested in your services. Have you taken the time to answer potential questions that you know come up in your everyday business away from the Internet? Being prepared also includes being direct about how to order what the client might want. If the purpose of the site is to sell a book, the button to buy that book needs to be on the first page in some way.
  4. What is your reputation?
    This aspect of website trust is available through third parties as well as your own proudly displayed testimonials. The Better Business Bureau for example, has a widget that will grade your business and engender a certain level of trust. Displaying your SSL certificate or “hacker-free” testing medallion can also help if you are an e-commerce site.
  5. Can we talk?
    Making the phone number visible, tap-able, clickable, etc., can be enough to create some trust as many sites are unreachable in any way other than e-mail. Having a live person on the other end rather than an answering machine is even better. If you are unable to take your calls as they come in, make sure to check your messages as frequently as possible, and give your potential customers an idea of how long it will take you to get back to them.

You can create better trustworthiness in your website design by keeping in mind that it is an extension of yourself, your business, and your character. Making a good impression is just as important as having a good product. Indeed, when you are shopping for a good website designer, be sure to ask the hard questions up front and know whether they are willing to make your website trustworthy as well as snazzy-looking.

Henry Lyons is the owner of Finestkind Web Design in Dresden, Maine. He can be reached at finestkindwd@gmail.com, or through his website www.fineskindwebdesign.com.

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